Monthly Archives: November 2013


Book Group meeting at my home, discussing “Tinkers” by Paul Harding

On Saturday the Book Group met at my flat to discuss “Tinkers” by Paul Harding. This book won The Pulitzer Price. It had been my choice, (we all choose in turn). I must admit that I played very safe when I brought three books for them to choose from at the last meeting, all literary prize winners, I comforted myself that even if they did not like the story at least they were all well written. “Tinkers” by Paul Harding won the vote and we had a month to read it before the next meetin which was on Saturday night.
We had two new members which is always exciting, always nice to have new opinions. No one raved about the book which is about George, an elderly man dying, remembering his father Howard, an epileptic itinerant tinker and his life in general. Some times George is just remembering and at other times he is hallucinating, every thing tied up with nature, time and clocks. Most of the group appreciated the writing and word pictures of life in the backwoods of Maine in the early 19th century, (I might be wrong about the date). I loved the father, Howard, the itinerant tinker,son of a preacher who traveled through the woods not only selling his wares but also helping people in trouble. At heart he was a poet trying to make the best of his situation. His dying son George, I found more difficult to like. Probably because of his hard upbringing he was a much harder character,interested in getting on in the world and making money. The whole story was melancholic with bits of humour and poetic language mixed throughout. My main criticism of the book was that at times I could not tell which of the two men was speaking, the chapters dodged about from one to the other.

While the adults were discussing the serious subjects of “life and ‘death’, the small children were having a wonderful time in the adjoining bedroom turning it into a gym, bouncing and somersaulting on the double bed and playing “hide and seek’ in my wardrobes. Put everything into perspective!!!!
After the discussion we settled down to eating the cake and desert that I had made. As you all know I tried to make them so that the whole group including one who is on a wheat,dairy and sugar free diet could eat and enjoy. For those who who are interested, I made a raspberry and rhubarb crumble, the crumble made of ground almond, sunflower dairy free spread, a few porridge oats and sweetened by dates chopped really small, the fruit was sweetened by honey which she is allowed. I also made a chocolate olive oil cake, also using cocoa, ground almond, eggs and honey. I think that everyone enjoyed them but not without criticism. One member remarked that the beautiful pears that I used to decorate the chocolate cake looked like potatoes. So good marks for taste but not so good for presentation!!!!!
I forgot to say that the group marked the book at 6.5 out of 10. A thoroughly enjoyable evening.
Our next book to discuss is “Dodger” by Terry Pratchett. I will let you know how we get on in due course.

,Happy Times.

I have been very happy these last two weeks, it was my grandson’s 21st birthday on the 15th and my family came from the north, east and west to help him celebrate. We had not all been together for a few years because of one or other of the grandchildren taking “gap” breaks before university. It was also the half term holiday from school so my youngest son who is a teacher, came down to join the celebration and spend four days with me, it was great!!! We were joined at a wonderful vegetarian restaurant by our extended family and close friends. I am not a ‘vegie’ myself but really enjoyed their imaginative and tasty dishes, there was a ‘meat’ option. After the meal we all came back to my flat for coffee and ‘drinks’ for those who were staying and not driving home. I retired to bed at 1’oclock leaving the rest of them still chatting.
My elder daughter who has the allotment and the ‘plant stall’ brought a giant pumpkin to the delight of my youngest grandson, it was later turned into a fantastic Halloween lantern. I had grown quite a few plants for the stall, so I was pleased when she took them away because I have very limited space, now I can take more cuttings from my collection of fuchsias which is getting larger due to the generosity of friends, thank you, Mrs A.J., yours is doing particularly well, I have one of my ‘specials’ put aside for you, if you would like it.
I have been to the hospital for the result of the C.T. scan on my injured leg, I am no wiser. I only know that when I did it I forgot how old I was and stupidly ran for the bus. I pulled or strained something in my groin causing such pain that I screamed. Six months later it is still very painful and so far nothing shows up in the scans,I am now going to have an ultra-sound scan, I hope that it will show something that can be treated. It would have been so much easier if I had broken my leg, it would be mended by now.
The next Book Group meeting is being held at my flat, we are reading “Tinkers” by Paul Harding
I am not reading it until the last moment so that it will be fresh in my mind. I am more concerned at what sort of cake or pudding I am going to give the members after the discussion, the high point of the evening. As one member, (my daughter) has a very restricted diet, I am trying to find some thing nice that we can all enjoy, I want her to have what we are all having, it is quite a challenge to find a recipe for cakes that have no wheat, no sugar and no dairy products. At the moment I am concentrating on oil. ground almonds and honey as replacements. I will let you know how I get on .
I have had my ‘flue injection, have you had yours?